Does she really remember me, as I walked to the meeting room, I asked myself one last time. When did we last meet? It would have to be in the early 1990s. Over twenty years, a few lifetimes ago. My assistant producer showed me to her. Sitting in a corner, in a yellow t-shirt, she turned to face me, immediately breaking into a laugh while she greeted me. We spoke briefly. Her face became familiar, especially her voice. She has not changed much. She looked healthy and fit. her energy level was high enough to bring some cheer to the room. As we chatted, along with the director of the film, I was still not sure if she remembered me. I mainly helped in the marketing aspects of #actionforaids, AFA, in those early years. One night last year, when I was falling asleep, her name just popped into my head. Iris Verghese. The lady who ‘provided hugs’ to people with Aids at the Middle Road Hospital. When Aids just reached our shores. When Aids was a total mystery. When everyone was terrified. When ignorance of this ‘plague’ created abject fear and helplessness. Iris, in a way, humanised Aids for me. I made a mental note to message Junfeng. That I think I could have an idea for the film he was going to make for our #15shorts. He liked the idea. With the help of AFA, we still took over three months to locate Iris. Then Junfeng met with her. click on the link below to watch this film by Junfeng which we just released to coincide with #worldaidsday, today. Thank you, Iris, Junfeng, AFA and NVPC.


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